2020 was INSANE for many of us with all kinds of global ‘crazy’ happening and on top of that, we all had our normal life events and challenges going on too.
I personally had a big year, giving birth to my second child in January 2020, only 4 months after coming back to self-employment following my tenure as the youngest Executive Director and Head of Campus at a university in Australian history and ended the year with 4 weeks notice of a mandatory house move 2,300km away as part of my husband’s Police service. However, despite everything, my business has grown in revenue by over 800% in 2020.
How Did I Grow by 800% During a Pandemic – ((and having a baby, and moving 2,300km away??)
- I work online where you have access to a global market 24 hours a day – AND you don’t have to be present to serve it
- I have cloned myself indefinitely and unlimitedly by taking my knowledge out of my head, and putting it into online courses
- I stuck to ONE goal and focused on it with unwavering determination
- I applied strategy and analytics. My one goal then had a number of tasks to be executed, and metrics that would tell me whether or not I was getting there
- I focused on doing the tasks that ONLY I could do, let go of my inner control freak and asked others for help
- I focused on ‘excellent is better than perfect’ when it came to making new courses, products and services. NOBODY wins from an unpublished product. I took a deep breath, pressed published, got feedback and didn’t waste time moving from ‘Version 1.0’ to Version 2.
- I never stopped learning how to do things better
Pick ONE Goal
I love simplicity. When you only have ONE clear, concise goal to work towards, everything in your life feels lighter, easier and more manageable. I personally set one goal per year, and then all of my ‘activities’ revolve around directly achieving that one single goal. This strategy is backed up in a couple of books that I LOVE that help you get clear on your one, massive goal: “The Miracle Equation” by Hal Elrod who calls this principle ‘The Power of Singularity’, and “The One Thing” by Gary Keller who tells us that to create massive results, all we need to do is find that ONE thing that makes everything else easier or unnecessary. When it comes to marketing, many business owners, entrepreneurs, authors, speakers, coaches and experts get completely overwhelmed with all of the different methods, strategies and ‘blow up your business now’ hacks being promised by hungry marketers – and either end up doing a million things poorly, or absolutely nothing at all!
So whilst this article is going to share 9 methods with you – there is strategy to how they may be selected for your business.
Having been in business for 14 years now, I can assure you that the best way to succeed is to have one clear objective (yes, just ONE) for your business each year.
Then use a carefully selected combination of marketing strategies that collectively and individually have the sole purpose of achieving that one, single goal.
The one goal you choose will be unique to you, but it must be something very measurable
- X number of students in your online course(s)
- X number of members in your membership program
- X number of clients for a particular service
To Pick Your ONE Miracle-Making Goal for 2021:
- First, come up with your financial revenue target for 2021
- THEN work out how many customers you need for each product/service in order to reach that financial figure
- Then work out how many customers you will need to get per month, per week and per day in order to meet that target
- Believe in it. Make it completely non-negotiable that you will commit to making it happen with absolute dedication
Make Your Marketing Matter
From here, your marketing activities become simple, because no matter how many or how few marketing methods you choose to take on, they all have ONE clear purpose with measurable markers.
Eg, if your goal is to get X number of members in your membership program and you select the following marketing channels:
- You will use Social media to connect with your audience, build relationships > lead them to become paid members
- You will use your Website for establishing your credibility, sharing valuable information, encouraging visitors to join email list > and ultimately to sign up to your paid membership
- You will use Emails to build familiarity and trust, establish a relationship, share valuable content > and to ultimately become paying members
- You will use YouTube to give tasters of your content, build familiarity, build a following > and ultimately encourage them to become paying members
- You will use Books to establish your expert credibility, get targeted customers > become members
There are endless examples – but you get the picture!
ONE goal – as many strategies as you want to use, but all with that ONE single mission at the center.
So, what is your ONE BIG GOAL FOR 2021? (share in the comments below!)
9 Ways To Grow Your Business in 2021
1. Create an Online Course
Online courses have a huge array of benefits for any business, coach, consultant and expert. Not only do online courses immediately provide an additional income stream into your business as soon as you publish one, it’s passive income too!
With online courses you basically clone yourself – giving you SO much time freedom. Whether you want more freedom to chill out on the beach, or do more on your business – an online course allows you the choice to stop having to see clients one on one and instead serves thousands of them all at the same time by sending them through your video training instead!
If you have a smartphone and an internet connection, you already have enough to create your own online course – without any extra expense or complex tech.
Get my FREE ‘Course Creation Starter Kit:
You can create little mini-courses to use a free lead magnets (email list builders), authority flagship courses and even high-ticket coaching programs. To create a simple lead magnet course to grow your email list, simply record your top 5 tips in your area of expertise in 5 short videos, and use that as mini lead magnet course that you can deliver to your prospects by email when they sign up to your list.
And that’s not ALL online courses can do!
A lead magnet mini course is only ONE type of course that you can create to grow your business and your bottom line!
Did you know that there are FIVE different types of online course that you can create – all of which have extremely powerful, but quite different benefits for the course creator?
Before you get started on creating your online courses, it is critical that you know which of the 5 types is best for you and your business so that it helps you quickly achieve your goals.
I have created a quick quiz to help you identify exactly which one is right for you – and as soon as you complete the quiz you will be sent an email with your results and a full description of all of the 5 types of online course too.
Take the free quiz here: http://maintraining.com.au/quiz-whatcourse
2. Video and Live Streaming
According to research by CISCO, video content is and will remain the number 1 form of consumed content on the internet.
The report states that videos “will continue to be in the range of 80-90% of total IP traffic. Globally, IP video traffic will account for 82 percent of traffic by 2022”.
Notably, this article by Avasam shows some amazing up to date stats about the power of video marketing.
This is absolutely huge and backs up the point that I have been hammering into edupreneurs for years – YOU MUST be creating and publishing videos if you want to have any influence or impact in your market.
To take it up one notch further – there has also been published research stating that people watch live videos for over 3 times longer than they watch a pre-recorded video.
With live streaming capability now available on YouTube (once you hit 1,000 subscribers), LinkedIn, Facebook and more, it’s easier than ever to reach huge numbers of people from your mobile phone to theirs, with the click of a single button.
But it’s not just any old videos that are trending.
The past few years have been insanely hot for educational, information and how-to videos. Research by Curata, sited in a Forbes article shows that tutorial videos and demonstration videos account for the most popular videos on the internet!
Further – live videos get you exceptional reach and maximum relationship-building opportunity. There is nothing more ‘real’ than somebody who is live.
My ‘30 Days 30 Tips Challenge’ has been designed to help you grow your expert profile using live videos.
- Find 52 questions that your audience are asking, and answer each one in individual videos.
- Record them all in a couple of days worth of filming, then mass upload them to YouTube using the ‘scheduled publish’ option.
With only a couple of days worth of work, you’ll have a video preloaded to release on YouTube every single week for an entire year.
If you need help coming up with video content ideas that your audience will LOVE, join my ‘#30Days30Tips Challenge’.
3. Authoring Print Books and eBooks
According to Author Earnings, over $1 million eBooks are sold every day on Amazon alone. Short of gaining exposure to millions of people by having your knowledge and education on the pages of a book, you also gain exceptional industry credibility when you have published work.
I have published 12 books, and without any real marketing (other than an email to my list and some posts on Facebook) I have sold more than 13,000 copies of my books on Amazon Kindle alone. That doesn’t even count any of my hard copy sales at all.
Here is what your author dashboard will look like showing your monthly sales:
Although it’s hardly a million dollar income stream, from that screen shot above, I’d sold 446 books in 10 countries in just 90 days, from ONE platform alone, whilst doing absolutely nothing other than the odd share on Facebook (automated of course!) Not bad, huh?
Now aside from them bringing in enough money to cover my coffee habit via a nice little cheque from Amazon each month, they also serve another, very powerful function for any business owner or expert….
In the front pages of all of my books, I include a link to a free online course which many of my readers take up – thus growing a targeted email list of people who often later invest in my full Edupreneur Academy.
Book sales won’t necessarily make you a millionaire on their own, but they have certainly worked for me in affirming extra credibility, harvesting thousands of targeted customers from one of the biggest marketplaces in the world, and subsequently have them invest in my other products and services.
Imagine getting over 13,000 new eager clients?
What would that do for your business?
The best bit is that becoming a published author is nowhere near as hard as you may imagine – and in fact, I have an online course in my Edupreneur Academy on ‘How To Write and Self-Publish Your Own Print Book and eBook’ if you’re thinking about tapping into this massive platform of business growth too.
Need some convincing? This video shows you how to publish a book on Amazon in just 10 MINUTES!!
4. Subscriptions and Memberships
Predictable, regular and consistent cash flow is critical for sustainable business and should be a priority for all business owners, experts and edupreneurs.
Selling online courses is a great way to earn a good income, however your sales can be unpredictable from month to month when you’re selling them ‘one-off’.
A trend that grew exponentially in 2017 and that really improved my cash flow, was shifting from selling courses individually, to creating a subscription based business model.
This works excellently when you have more than one online or digital offering, and you bundle them all up and offer them up for a monthly fee – which is a no-brainer cheaper option for the subscriber than paying for each item in the ‘package’ individually; and thus is the incentive for them.
A lot of entrepreneurs and business owners baulk at this idea at first “but discounting my stuff devalues it! I’ll lose money!”.
You HAVE to see memberships through a different lens – it’s a different income stream, even though it comprises the same content.
You see, lots of small sales, make a big income; and customers who can see that they are getting insane amounts of value for money become your raving fans, stick around for ages and tell their friends to join too.
Look how easy it is to earn $10,000 per MONTH in residual income from a simple $47 a month online membership academy…..
10 students = $470 per month
50 students = $2,350 per month
100 students = $4,700 per month
150 students = $7,050 per month
250 students = $11,750 per month
750 students = $35,250 per month
1,000 students = $47,000 per month
(Note: I am not saying your membership offering should be this price – it’s just an example)
Not so scrappy now, is it?!
How many membership subscribers would you need to achieve your personal passive income goal for 2021?
5. Blogging & Guest Blogging
Blogging is still one of my favorite ways to invest my time to create evergreen marketing collateral and I will definitely be continuing to use blogging as a growth strategy in 2020 and beyond.
The best bit is that blogging is a free and easy, lifelong marketing strategy that you get better and better at the more you do it.
I still get business today from posts I published years ago and without fail, I make some kind of sale from every post I put out each week.
Every time you publish a blog post you are putting out a digital, Google-searchable signpost to the world that points back to your website and ensures that your future customers can find you in Google search results for all of time to come.
I always liken blog posts and other ‘content’ such as videos, to the silky rings of a spiders web. Every time you publish a blog, you add another ring to your web. Your web gets bigger and bigger with every new blog, more people can find you and the wider area of ‘capture’ you have.
Blogs never stop working for you and they simultaneously demonstrate your expertise and gather up leads.
To take it to the next level, you can write blogs for other people’s sites.
Why? Because these sites could have thousands, hundreds of thousands or even MILLIONS of subscribers and YOUR blog article will be put in front of all of them – thus the potential for you to attract lots of brand new fans and followers yourself.
How to make the most of blogging
- Ensure that your blog titles are the questions your target audience are typing into Google, then your blog will come up in their search results.
- Search for the top 20 questions that your audience are typing into Google and answer them all in 20 blog posts
- Send it out to other blogs first so that they get ‘first publish’
- Schedule your blogs to auto-publish on your own website once a week and to auto-email to your mailing list for maximum impact.
Blogging has by far been consistently one of the best investments of my time for the most passive and sustainable rewards. I highly suggest you consider it as a long term growth strategy for 2021.
Want to buy my list of email addresses for blog owners and editors?
I have created a list of 303 international blogs and online magazines in the field of business, entrepreneurship and online education and you can buy it here: >> BUY THE GUEST BLOGGING CONTACT LIST
6. Podcasting & Guest Podcasting
Just like blogging and publishing videos, creating and publishing podcasts is another incredible way to ensure that your prospective customers come across you and your content.
Podcasting has now become an everyday part of many people’s lives, so to ‘be there’ is to ‘be found’.
Although I took 2 years out of my Course Creators podcast, whilst I served my tenure at a university – after only a short time back and no marketing whatsoever, it still gets new listeners and followers all of the time. A total of 5,000 downloads in just the few months that I started it back up again in 2020. Nothing to put on CNN, but great for business. What would 5,000 new fans and prospects mean for your business?
But don’t take my word for it – here are some podcasting stats from Podcast Insights:
However, the tech and time required to set-up and run a podcast is not everyone’s cup of tea, but never fear, you can still tap into this enormous opportunity another way – by being a guest on other people’s podcasts!
Simply search for podcasts that serve your target audience, and reach out to the podcast owner to ask if they accept guests on their show.
But don’t leave it at that.
Make sure that you outline a very specific way that you would like to contribute to their podcast as a guest, including what your interview topic could be called, what top 3-5 things you can share or teach their listeners and something you have to offer their audience for free as an extra value contribution.
This method has got me many podcast interviews and they continue to collect new leads for me constantly.
If you have a podcast that’s looking for guests, I’d be delighted to come on your show – feel free to email me!
7. Digitizing traditional products and services
Going online means going from a local market to a global one, instantly.
I used to limit my face to face workshops to 20 students in a classroom at a time; now I have over 75,000 students enrolled in over 40 of my courses in 168+ countries at any one time (and growing every day) – all because I went ‘digital’.
And when it came to my curriculum design services, serving my clients depended a lot on me driving into their offices and physically working with their teams in-person. Now, I offer my course creation services online and have corporate, Government and small business clients all over the world – without leaving my office.
You can too.
Instead of having JUST face to face based offerings, can you ‘digitise’ what you do?
- Turn common consult content into video tutorials
- Create an online course
- Put your topo tips into a published eBook or print book
- Provide your consultations and coaching online and via video call rather than in-person
- Offer predefined services for a fixed price that can be delivered remotely
- Deliver your knowledge via paid or free webinars
- Produce audio files or audio books
- Create a digital instruction manual / PDF
Going digital with your offerings doesn’t have to replace your face to face offerings – in fact, once you have digital products and services your face to face options can go up in price.
But by adding a digital version of what you currently do in a traditional manner will scale your customer base to unlimited numbers, along with your bank balance.
8. Mini Challenges
The concept of the short, sharp ‘challenge’, with it’s promise of practical implementation and a quick result, has proven to be a highly successful strategy for me in previous years; and has attracted thousands of new leads and customers into my business.
The 5 day and 30 day challenges to achieve X result, have been the most popular for me – but you can chose whatever number of days you prefer to help your audience attain a certain desired outcome.
If your ‘challenge’ is a 5 day challenge, simply:
- Film 5 tutorial videos (one for each day)
- Develop a practical task for the challenge participants to complete each day
- Add downloadable templates
- Make it available by email, messenger bot and as a free online course on your website or learning management system (a delivery style to suit different preferences).
What challenge could you create to engage, educate and help your clients and prospects get a much desired result for themselves?
If you need some help, why not join my FREE 5 day challenge which will teach you how to create an educational challenge of your own?!
9. Sell packages instead of individual items
People want more for their money, and you probably want more money for your time. By shifting from an hourly rate service, or a single product sale, instead move to selling packages that include numerous offerings.
Bundle your online courses together to increase your transaction value, add eBooks to your course packages, add a consult to the bundle, templates, checklists and even discount vouchers for other people’s products and services and more.
There is no limit to how creative you can be about what you add in, but increasing the value of your packages does NOT have to mean adding more of your time to it.
Stop working for an hourly rate and instead work for a value transaction that maximizes your profit and increases your customer satisfaction.
Even better, create 3 different packages that your customers could choose from (think baby bear, mummy bear and daddy bear, or bronze, silver, gold).
One of my clients managed to increase her hourly rate from $250, to over $1,500 per transaction without increasing her input by a single second, by simply packaging a number of her digital offerings together.
List all of your assets, content, products and services and work out what you can offer together in a much higher value bundle instead of selling everything individually.
I go into more detail on how to do this in my book “Edupreneur: How To Monetize Your Expertise and Profitably Educate Your Market”.
The strategies listed above are only a teeny weeny selection of the many strategies out there – I could write a whole other book just on the various business growth strategies that have worked well for me, but hopefully these will be enough to get your brain ticking for now.
Remember that there is no single method to attract leads and grow your business, and that different strategies work for different businesses. The best way to know what works best for you is to simply start experimenting.
Challenge yourself to try something new and make your 2021 your best year yet.
If you need some guidance, consider joining my Edupreneur Academy where you can access over 40 online courses and books from me that all aim to help you grow your business whilst making a positive contribution to the world.
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Written by Sarah Cordiner.